This is a discussion on Title within the Intellectual Property Law Questions forums, part of the Legal Questions & Answers Forum category; My husband and I own a condo and we had renters in there for the past year and they just left the condo and destroyed the place. We don't have ...

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  1. #1
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    My husband and I own a condo and we had renters in there for the past year and they just left the condo and destroyed the place. We don't have rental insurance and they did over $4000 worth of damage. Water damage in the hallway and now there is extreme mold all under the carpet. They had a dog and cat without us knowing and there's pee and poop stains everywhere. The place smells terrible, it's as dirty as can be. Small holes in the wall from hanging stuff, cigerettes, broken blinds, vinyl coming apart, wood flooring coming up, Broken sink, and much more. They just moved to Kansas (he's in the military) and the Police said that it'll be a long process and if they don't show up in court then there will be a warrant for their arrest in Utah and that's about it. I'm not sure what to do now. Please let me know what to do and if I can sue them for damages, etc. I have TONS of pictures for proof.

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    It appears your recourse is to sue them, under the terms of their lease.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disagreeable View Post
    It appears your recourse is to sue them, under the terms of their lease.
    Disagreeable is absolutely right. Funny, I think disagreeable is actually pretty agreeable for helping answer you! ;-)

    Anyway, it just seems like a shame that your renters left the place in such a wreck. I'm assuming by your post that you are in the Utah rental market, and that your renter broke their lease, or at least they left at the end of their lease term and left your rental property in a shamble.

    The police and disagreeable are correct that if you sue them in course according to the terms of your lease, they would be required to show up in court. If they do not show up in court, you may be able to obtain a summary judgement in your favor in which you would then be able to move forward with an additional process to use this judgement against them to garnish their wages, etc.

    The next question you might wonder is this: If I obtain a judgement against someone, can I get a warrant issued for their arrest? This is where I don't necessarily agree with what the Utah police said regarding getting an arrest warrant issued for them. This would essentially be a civil matter, and although the government just loves their ability to automatically issue warrants for arrest which help them force people to pay them, regular civil legal matters don't necessarily get you this kind of powerful recourse unfortunately.

    Certainly, I would try the most obvious solutions which are to file this lawsuit against your previous tenants. Then naturally, you'll serve them a copy of the lawsuit, and when you do so, you may also contact them in the process to let them know what's going on such that they will have the opportunity to settle up with you. Obviously if you have to hire an attorney to do paperwork for this lawsuit, it could get a little pricey, and so if you can do some of this stuff via the Self Help American Pro Se Association, then you'll be able to save a few bucks.

    Also, if you consider how to sue your tenants, you'll consider that you might be able to get some money out of them in the mean time so that they could keep you from suing them if they don't want the ill effects of the lawsuit. This kind of thing would make it pretty tough for them to get a house or anything like that later.


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